The rhetoric regarding the war and a possible peace agreement on the part of Kyiv has changed. Does this mean that the negotiation process between Ukraine and Russia will not be able to reach its logical conclusion?
What led to a change in the situation, why did the Ukrainian authorities demand that Russia capitulate in the war? The tone of statements on the topic of war and Russia has clearly changed, as evidenced by the latest statements by representatives of the military leadership of Ukraine and members of the presidential team.
The impossibility of a peaceful settlement was stated by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense Kirill Budanov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of the National Security and Defense Council Alexei Danilov, as well as the adviser to the head of the President’s Office who commented on his statement Alexey Arestovich. The general meaning is the same: peace with Russia is possible only after its capitulation.
The attitude towards a possible neutral status of Ukraine has also changed, although in Istanbul, during the March talks, the Ukrainian delegation was ready to refuse to join NATO in exchange for security guarantees. Now it has been announced that Ukraine is not going to give up its intentions to seek entry into the alliance, in response to which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov doubted that the negotiation process could end somehow effectively.
That is, the situation looks like the negotiations have been put on hold. Both sides seem to be waiting for the results of the confrontation in the southeast. In addition, it is obvious that Kyiv has tightened its rhetoric following the West, which started talking about “war to a victorious end.” And now it is being built on the main thesis – the war can end only after the capitulation of Moscow.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Danilov is characterized as a supporter of giving out personal assessments of the situation as an official position, making loud statements. However, the last one, aired on May 2, does not seem to run counter to the position of the authorities. Verbatim:
“With Russia, we can only sign its surrender. And the sooner they do it, the more profitable it will be for their country.”
In a conversation with lawyer Mark Feigin, Alexei Arestovich, adviser to the head of the OP, noted that Danilov said about capitulation for a reason: “He is an official of the highest rank.” That is, he hinted that what was said was agreed with the country’s top leadership.
In unison with Danilov, the words head of GUR Budanovand also May 2. True, without the pronunciation of the term “surrender”. He made it clear that the war would end with the defeat of Russia. There are two further options: the Russian Federation will either be “divided into three or more parts”, or, at the cost of replacing the leadership, it will retain most of the country, but will be forced to give up territories claimed by other countries, for example, the Kuril Islands and Kaliningrad.
Regarding the negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow. It becomes clear that they have paused, which was actually confirmed in the program “Good Morning Britain” on ITV by Ukrainian Ambassador to London Vadym Prystaiko:
“We have already passed the stage when it was possible to negotiate and look for common ground. Now these negotiations have stalled. After the events in Bucha, many Ukrainians cannot even think of sitting down at the negotiating table with these people. the negotiating table, because all wars ended with negotiations, but many Ukrainians believe that we should defeat Russia on the battlefield.”
He expressed confidence that by military means it is possible to change the situation in favor of Ukraine, but officially Kyiv did not withdraw from the negotiation process.
Olga Stefanishyna, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, in an interview with the Spanish El Pans also indirectly confirmed the change in the rhetoric of the Ukrainian authorities, saying that Kyiv “did not refuse and did not postpone” its intention to join NATO.
Earlier, Ukraine stated that it was ready, within the framework of peace agreements with Russia, to become a non-bloc state without trying to have nuclear weapons on its territory. The position of the country’s leadership began to change as the modesty of Russia’s military successes became apparent due to the fierce resistance encountered, as well as the seriousness of the collective West’s bet on the defeat of Putin, as evidenced by the supply of heavy weapons, including from the United States through lend-lease.
AT EU and the United States is less and less talking about the need for a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia, and is increasingly focusing on inflicting maximum damage on the latter. Liz Truss, head of the British Foreign Office, called Ukraine’s victory in the war “a strategic imperative for all of us,” that is, the collective West. Therefore, Kyiv needs more Western heavy weapons, including tanks and aircraft, for which military production should be increased.
At the same time, all possible economic levers should be used against Moscow. The main thing is to prevent President Putin from declaring his victory in Ukraine and “using this war as a catalyst to establish a new world order.” Ideally, it is also necessary to achieve the expulsion of Russian troops during this war from the entire territory of Ukraine, from the Donbass and Crimea.
Undoubtedly, the words of Truss cannot be considered common position West. But against the backdrop of them, Germany agreed with the need to send weapons to Kyiv, although only recently called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “Now is not the time for pacifism.” Adding that there will be no peace on Putin’s terms.
At the same time, the speed with which the intra-Western discussion has gone from discussing the supply of automatic weapons, grenade launchers and helmets to Soviet-made heavy weapons, and now to their own developments, which are in service with their armies, is interesting. And the scenario of the entry into the war of entire Western contingents – in the event of an undesirable development of events for them and Ukraine – no longer looks incredible.
But let’s get back to Ukraine. Political scientist Ruslan Bortnik believes that the current mood in the team of the Ukrainian president, reflected in the statements, is associated with massive Western assistance and the localization of the war in the southeast, quotes “The country”:
“Ukraine is raising the stakes. If in the first days of the war Kyiv was ready to discuss Russian ultimatums, at the talks in Istanbul some of the demands had already been dropped, and the compromise was discussed only in terms of Ukraine’s non-alignment and neutrality, now the negotiations and the peace agreement in general are not a priority yet “They say, if Russia wants to negotiate, then in a new way, or there will be no conversation. Confidence is instilled, I think, by Western supplies. This is a game with public opinion. Still, elements of war fatigue appear. They want to show society that a turning point in the conflict is close That there are no vacillations, including in the establishment! That no one is going to surrender to Russia – on the contrary, new, maximally stringent demands are being made on it. Those who make such statements are sober-minded people who feel well their addressee – the patriotic part society, which actually leads everyone now.”
However, the political scientist admits that not everyone in power shares this position, “different offices of Bankova can pursue their own line regarding the end of the war.”
Moscow reacted sharply to the statements in Kyiv. They believe that the Ukrainian leadership is simply afraid of the consequences of concluding a peace treaty with Russia. Dmitry Medvedev, ex-president and chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, does not choose expressions:
“Vladimir Zelensky does not need any peace treaty, for him peace is the end. Either a quick one – from the Nazis, who will hang him “on a gillyaku” for conspiring with Muscovites. Or a slower one – from competitors who will achieve his removal as a president who lost the war This is confirmed by various mongrels around him, who are yapping that there will be no peace treaty.”
To which Bortnik replied:
“Moscow, of course, reacts, but only in so far as. They have become stronger in the opinion that they are waging war not with Ukraine, but with NATO. And therefore, Kyiv’s position is not perceived as serious and final.”
And political scientist Vadim Karasev expresses his point of view:
“Parallel to the real war, linguistic battles are going on. Both sides are juggling terms that are little understood even by themselves. Russia spoke about “denazification” and “demilitarization” without being able to really explain what she had in mind. I do not exclude that a new portion of unusual formulations we will receive from Putin on May 9. Victory in the “special operation” is the capture of the destroyed Mariupol? Now on our side they are talking about the surrender of Russia. But what is it? Defeat of Russian troops in the southeast, withdrawal from Crimea, our flag over the Kremlin, death Putin? Or, having stopped the Russian offensive with the help of Western weapons, we will say that capitulation is a failure of Putin’s plans to take Kyiv after all and change power in Ukraine? I tend to believe that so far the threats are heard in the negotiation context. about this process now, this is a reserve for the future, increased pressure on the opposite side. I remain with my own opinion that by the end of May, after all, Kyiv and Moscow will be forced to return to the negotiating table.”
Ukraine has not withdrawn from the negotiation process and continues to discuss security guarantees with the West. Even though they come “complete” with the declaration of non-bloc status – a key point in possible agreements with Russia. So, regardless of the rhetoric of the Kyiv authorities, the topic of negotiations not definitively discarded.
The dialogue, in spite of everything, continues. But it is quite obvious that both sides expect a turning point in their favor at the front in order to strengthen their positions. It will happen or not, it will become clear, most likely, in the next month or two.